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Zak Pines | February 1, 2017

Unleash the Power Between Marketo and Microsoft Dynamics

Paul Wilson, Solutions Architect at Perkuto and the leader of the Marketo-Microsoft Dynamics user group, covered three topics during the webinar:

#1 - Challenges of the Marketo-Microsoft Dynamics free connector

#2 - Paul’s top hacks for working between the two systems

#3 - Paul’s wish list for the Marketo-Microsoft Dynamics integration

Challenges of the Marketo-Microsoft Dynamics free connector
Paul highlighted the below challenges:

Pain #1 – There is no data de-duplication if a lead exists in Marketo (not synced to Dynamics) and then that lead gets created on the Dynamics side
This scenario would apply for teams who upload or input leads directly into the CRM system, which is often the case for sales managed campaigns, referrals, or inbound phone leads directly to reps. Because this scenario is prone to duplicates, customers will often opt to do a full database sync from Marketo to Dynamics – but this can introduce other challenges such as how to manage an entire marketing database with Dynamics, and making downstream lead routing unnecessarily complex.

Pain #2 – No workflow management
Paul shared the below screenshot which is a side-by-side comparison of the Marketo connectors for Salesforce and Dynamics. So with Dynamics, marketers lack the ability to create tasks, convert leads, change lead owners or add leads/contacts to campaigns.


Pain #3 – GUIDs are a pain
For any Dynamics lookup fields, this data transfers into Marketo using a long form unique ID GUID, which makes the data nearly impossible to use in Marketo. See the screenshot example below.


Paul’s Top Hacks for Marketo & Microsoft Dynamics

Paul recommended two hacks with workarounds to get the systems working more cohesively together.

Hack #1 – Trigger Dynamics Workflows based on a synced field
Paul recommended a hack to set up a Dynamics workflow for changing a lead owner based on using a value in field synced between the two systems. So workflow will use that sync field as a trigger to reassign the lead. The drawback to this approach is it requires configuration on the Dynamics side.

Hack #2 – Pass in field values for task assignment
Along a similar line, a hack for pushing tasks from Marketo to Dynamics could be to setup multiple fields – which get re-used solely for this purpose – to pass through values for tasks. A Dynamics workflow can take those fields, use them to create a task, and then clear out the values so those same fields can be re-used in the future.


Paul’s Wish List for Marketo & Microsoft Dynamics
The third segment of the webinar was Paul’s wish list. This one was longer than the other two lists!

Wish #1 – No dupes
Paul called for logic to look for first for matching records before Dynamics creates dupes in Marketo. Dupes in Marketo are – at best – an administration headache, and at worst can wreck havoc by mistargeting customers in future communications and mishandling their communications or opt-out preferences.

Wish #2 – Cut the hacks
Cut the hacks. Rather than require the involvement of a Dynamics administrator to update complex workflows, it would be easiest if there was no need for the Dynamics workflow in the first place. Marketers love CRM administrations, after all, but we’d rather manage those rules ourselves! That applies to reassigning lead owners, creating tasks and converting leads.

Wish #3 – Campaigns & marketing lists
Campaigns are important for closing the loop on campaign analytics, not to mention a useful way to communicate clearly with sales – e.g. these are the leads who registered for, or attended, a recent webinar sales or BDRs are now following up.

Wish #4 – Custom entities & custom objects
Paul’s getting on a roll now, a man can dream, right!

Wish #5 – Interesting moments as activities within the CRM
Sales reps like to keep their CRM usage straightforward. Getting interesting moments to show up directly on the lead records they are working with every day, makes it clean and simple for those reps to have visibility into key marketing engagements from the prospect.

We followed Paul’s presentation with a vibrant, live discussion with the audience. GoToWebinar has come a long way, and Lindsay our MC skillfully brought audience members on and off mute to participate in a live discussion. One of the tidbits that came out of the post discussion is that Microsoft themselves uses Marketo but has built a custom integration vs. relying on the free connector.


Up Next:

On Feb. 16 we are going to take a closer look at how Bedrock Data can help you get more out of Microsoft Dynamics and Marketo. Topics include:

  • Removing administrative headaches
  • Doing more between the two systems
  • Improving alignment between the teams using the two systems
  • Tips for optimizing your DCRM & Marketo instances
  • Breaking from the native connector - how to make the transition

Register here to join us on Feb. 16.

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